Magic vs Pacers Pre-Game Inside Look 10/29/13

The start of the 2013-14 NBA season is FINALLY HERE! Tonight the Orlando Magic will travel to Indiana and face off against the Pacers.

These two teams are going in different directions. Orlando is rebuilding but looking to be competitive, while Indiana was only one game from the NBA Finals last season and hoping they get over the hump this year.

The Pacers limited Orlando to 39.1 percent field-goal shooting and 85.3 points per game while taking two of three meetings last year.

Match up to watch:
Maurice Harkless (Magic) vs Paul George (Pacers)

This season Orlando will ask Harkless to not only score 10-15 points per game but guard some of the leagues best talent. His length and tenacity on defense will give guys issues. Tonight his match up with Paul George will be a great measuring stick for the second year player. “Im looking forward to the challenge, he is a solid player I mold my game after a little,” Harkless said after Mondays practice. George who is still a raw offensive talent, can score 20 a night with the best of them. These two young guys better study each other because this will be a match-up for years to come.

Key Players:
Magic: Aaron Afflalo
The Magic have shown at times they have a hard time putting the ball in the basket. During the pre-season they used a lot of pick and rolls along with give and goes to get the offense rolling. Afflalo will need to create and score for Orlando off the dribble, especially since Tobias Harris will be sidelined due to an ankle injury.

Pacers: CJ Watson
Last season the biggest weak spot for the Pacers was their bench and poor play from the back up point guard position. With Watson playing that role they will have a good floor general who can score and navigate the second unit. It won’t hurt to have new addition Louis Scula as his running mate.

Coaching Match-up:
Jacque Vaughn (Magic) In his second season as Orlando’s head coach, Vaughn has talked about how much more comfortable he feels with his guys. Going into tonights game and the Magic without Tobias Harris look for Vaughn to substitute his front line to match the physicality of Indiana.
Frank Vogel (Pacers) The saying is your teams personality is a reflection on the head coach. The same goes for Vogel and his Pacers. With the additions of CJ Watson and Luis Scola, Volgel will work on his rotation and get a feel for his new roster.

Prediction:
Pacers 105
Magic 84

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